Driving theory test gets a hi-tech movie makeover

The dring theory test is being given a hi-tech makeover.

The dring theory test is being given a hi-tech makeover. - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Computer generated imagery (CGI) is to be used in the driving test. New CGI video clips will be introduced into the hazard perception section of the driving theory test from early next year.

Filmed video clips are already used to test candidates’ reactions to developing hazards on the road. However, the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) believes that the scenarios in these clips although still relevant, do not have the image quality that is as clear or defined as modern digital technology allows.

The first new clips will show the same situations as the filmed clips, but are clearer on the screen and include updated vehicles, roads and surroundings to reflect modern day driving.

Using CGI will also allow the DVSA to develop new clips in the future that include a wider range of hazards, for example situations with vulnerable road users like children or cyclists that would previously have been difficult to film.

The clips could also include a range of driving conditions, such as night-time driving or bad weather.

Commenting on the hi-tech upgrade, DVSA chief executive Alastair Peoples said: “The theory test plays an essential role in making sure that new drivers know the Highway Code and the rules of the road. Research has shown how effective the hazard perception test is in reducing the number of crashes involving newly qualified drivers.

“Using CGI clips in the hazard perception test will allow us to present clearer, more up-to-date situations, ensuring the test fully reflects the realities of modern day driving.”

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Research has shown that the introduction of the hazard perception test in 2002 is associated with an 11% reduction in crashes, helping to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads.

Every year around 1.5 million hazard perception tests are taken as part of the theory test, with an average pass rate of 85% for the hazard perception section.